Selflessness > Self-Love {Chelsey Duda}


Let all that you do be done in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14


I know our culture says if you want to fix yourself and your relationships, you have to love yourself first. I do agree with this to an extent. Yes, we must take care of ourselves to be emotionally healthy: we should know our worth.

God says our identity is in Jesus Christ. To the world our worth is in what we do, what we look like, who we know, etc. To the world, the “self” is all you will ever truly have. People say that self-love is confidence, unconditional respect and appreciation for oneself.

I agree, these all seem like good and positive beliefs. However, I’m wrestling with this notion.

If the Bible says our identity is in Jesus Christ, then what exactly does that mean for us?

We have a lot to be ‘insecure’ about in this world. Tomorrow, all of our finances could be diminished, tomorrow we could get cancer, tomorrow our hearts could get broken, tomorrow we could become like Job and lose it all. But, there is a true way to find security in this world: in Jesus.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. - James 4:13-17

We take on Jesus’ identity because we are made in the image of God. Ultimately, we share in his righteousness, when we are born again into His Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

When we place our identity in Jesus (a firm foundation), our identity is not shaken by the worlds terms. We don’t have to rely on ourselves or even our family and friends for ‘self-love’. We do not need to be told that we are: beautiful, talented, successful, loved.

In Jesus, we are already loved for eternity. In Jesus, the material things of this world play no part: looks, talent, skill, wealth, fame, accomplishments, etc. In Jesus your soul can rest free from these worldly acquisitions of more, better, best. In Jesus you have all of the love you need; you are accepted perfectly as is, being that you love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

I’ve seen countless quotes that go like this, “self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself first.” People say that through self-love (unconditional); it is only then that we can learn how to love others with real compassion. I say we take a look not at ourselves but to our God; that has already shown us unconditional, compassionate love for us and others when Jesus died for us on the cross. He demonstrated this to us through his Word. If you study His word and meditate on it day and night, you will learn all there is you need to know about love and how to love others compassionately.

The problem as I mentioned with this ‘self-love’ philosophy is that it puts the emphasis on ‘me or I’. I created this, I did this...I am the center of my happiness. In essence, I am my own god.

This has manifested into a complete autonomous/individualistic mindset. A person filled with pride.

Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty (self-important) spirit before a fall.

Jesus died on the cross for us, not because of self-love, but because of selfless love. When we become closer and closer to the characteristics of Jesus, we will not only gain true ‘self-love’ (because our identity is in Christ) we will begin to feel confident in the love he feels for us, and that will in turn create confidence within us. We will feel loved, we will have a heart of compassion for others out of the abundant love (joy) that we have inside of us that can ONLY come from God.

All good and positive things come from God, all of them. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -  James 1:17.

If you say to yourself these mantras:

I am worthy of love

I carry strength, courage, and resilience within me

I have the ability to overcome any challenge life gives me

Abundance and love flow from me

...and believe it is all from and because of you, you are foolishly deceived.

It is not inherently bad to love yourself; to practice self-care mentally, emotionally and spiritually by all means if you need help loving yourself seek it. My point is that when it comes from of a place of autonomy (a ‘me, me, me’ attitude), that is what we need to be cautious about. Don’t fall into the trap of this ‘self-love, self-creation, self-universe’ philosophy that mainstream media preaches about. Pride is the enemy of God. We must remember that God is love and that through Jesus Christ we find our ‘self-love’, our worth (confidence) and true identity.

God loves us so much that He became human, just like us, in the form of Jesus to take on our sins/faults and suffer on the cross until His death. He felt every ounce of pain: physical and emotional, pain from the whole world. God wanted to make a way for us to become one again with Him through Jesus by having him atone (repair) for our sins once and for all so that anyone who believes in Jesus and lives like Jesus will have eternal life after they die in this body. Paraphrased from John 3:16.

{Written By Chelsey Duda}